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Gale force winds forecast to hit central NZ while rain warning in place for parts of South Island

A rain warning is in place for parts of the South Island while a strong wind warning is in for place for the central New Zealand as yet more wild weather hits the country.

The wind warning is in place for the Wairarapa, Wellington and the Marlborough Sounds through to 7pm tonight with gale force north-westerly winds gusting 120 km/h in exposed places, according to Metservice.

The winds could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures while driving may be hazardous, particularly for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.

A heavy rain warning is also in place for Buller, Westland and Southland.

The warning is in place for Southland and Westland through to 9am and 11am respectively.

It extends through to 4pm for Buller with forecast heavy rain potentially causing streams and rivers to rise rapidly.

A further 80 to 100mm is expected to fall in ranges in Buller and Westland with a peak of 15 to 25mm in an hour, especially during thunderstorms.

Southland is expecting an additional 40mm to 60mm with a peak of 10 to 15mm an hour.

Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous.

Wellington (file picture).
Wellington (file picture). Source: istock.com